What’s up, friends! Today is #GivingTuesday, so I thought I’d throw down a short list of organizations that you could choose to donate to, spread awareness of, or support today:
MS Society of Canada
This charity is absolutely the most near and dear to my heart. I think I’ve spoken about it before, but my mother-in-law, Frances, is one of an estimated 77,000 Canadians living with MS. The funds donated to the MS Society of Canada are split between research into causes and treatments, many of them through the Hotchkiss Brain Institute right here in Calgary, and support for local programs, such as 1:1 Peer Support, Friendly Visiting, Legal and Self-Advocacy Support, and the Caregiver Network.
I’ve participated in the MS Walk for the past three years and will be participating next year, on Sunday, June 9, 2018, with a team of badass babes helping me to support Frances and other Canadians like her. Though it’s still early, Team Themyscira (yes, this year’s theme is the mighty Amazons of Wonder Woman, though other Justice League members are certainly welcome) is up and running, and we would love your support in reaching our fundraising goal. [Donate here]
Centre for Sexuality
I cannot stress just how important the work done and support provided by the Centre for Sexuality is. It’s so important for people (not just young people, but all people) to build healthy relationships with their bodies and I absolutely believe that factual, honest, comprehensive education in sexual health and consent is a key part of that.
Donations to the Centre support school and community based educational programs, consent education, testing for sexual transmitted infections and pregnancy, education for parents in how to talk to their children about sexuality, Camp fYrefly, helping LGBTQIA2+ youth connect through a network of GSAs in schools, and the countless other valuable programs and services listed on the Centre’s website. (Seriously, go check it out!) [Donate here]
Pacific Wild Alliance
I had the privilege of growing in in one of the most beautiful, bio-diverse places in the world: Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Though I’ve lived in Alberta for eleven years, BC’s coastline, mountains, and forests still hold my heart. I feel frustrated to no end that the gorgeous, wondrous environment of BC seems to be constantly under threat. I have a soft spot for the predators of BC in particular and have written many letters to BC legislators to put and end to the unconscionable wolf culls and the grizzly trophy hunt (which they finally did).
There are two ways to donate to the Pacific Wild Alliance to support their advocacy, conservation efforts, education, and research toward the preservation of the Great Bear Rainforest: Directly to the Pacific Wild Alliance or to Tides Canada’s Great Bear Education and Research Project [Donate here].
You can also donate your time to one of their campaigns by volunteering, by writing to the BC Legislature, or by hosting a letter writing party or film screening.
Clayquot CleanUp |Restore the Shore
Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Clayquot Sound is 350,000 hectare ecosystem which is home to the Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, as well as the District of Tofino, and the countless species of plants, animals, marine life, and insects that call its coastal temperate rainforest home. It includes parts of Pacific Rim National Park and Strathcona Provincial Park and is a recognized UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
It’s also under serious threat, courtesy of of the buildup of ocean plastics on BC’s coast. (Take a watch of the Sitka Society for Conservation and Clayquot CleanUp’s short film, ‘Plastic Beach‘ for more information about the impact of ocean plastics in the Sound.)
Clayquot CleanUp is citizen led and 100% community funded by donation, fundraising, and contribution of local businesses, and works each year to provide services like debris removal, emergency spill response, and disassembly of defunct aquaculture sites. Further information about how you can provide support can be found here. CW: One of the linked donation pages includes a pretty harrowing picture of a bird carcass, which I wouldn’t recommend for the squeamish or the faint of heart.
Hopefully this list inspires you to give (to any organizations that you’re passionate about, not just the ones listed here), share information about the causes near and dear to you, or even just start a conversation about how we, as human beings sharing our lives and the places that we live, can be more supportive of each other and the world around us.
Stay passionate, friends! ❤